There are days when I am just too lazy to make iced tea. It's also not uncommon for me to struggle with how to come up with ways to use the unpredictable contents of our farm-share box. Often I am looking for a drink with dinner that is refreshing and caffeine-free. My go-to alternative and new favorite summer drink is cucumber water. It seems we always have a cuc or two on hand and there's a pot of fresh mint outside my back door. Lemons are my summer cooking staple so I always add some fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I don't dump in slices because we don't drink a whole batch in one sitting and the slices make the drink go bitter.
My beverage of choice for lunch is home-brewed iced tea. The problem is we run out mid-week and I have nothing for my lunch bag. The break room at the office has tea bags, so sometimes I will make it up in a spare bottle or jar that I bring in. I keep a bottle of lemon juice for this in the break room fridge. While cucumber water isn't my first choice at lunch (I like a little mid-day caffeine), I sometimes bring it. If it's not already made up it is easy to toss a few slices and some mint into a jar in the morning and fill it with water to make a portable beverage.
I'll do anything to stay away from purchasing beverages in order to avoid excessive sweeteners (artificial or not). Chemicals and preservatives are also off my list. I could buy bottled beverages in the "market" the office stocks (which I get $7 a week for from my employer), but I prefer to bring my own.
Cucumbers are cheap and abundant right now and I think we need to drink to that!